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23 July, 2012 - 07:54 By News Desk

Imperial pumps £17m into Cell Medica

Imperial Innovations - based at Babraham Research Campus

Imperial Innovations, the technology transfer and investment specialist with a base in Cambridge UK, has invested in a £17 million funding round in portfolio company Cell Medica.

Cell Medica is a clinical stage cell therapeutics business, enabling it to continue development of its immune reconstitution cell therapies in Europe and to launch new operations in Texas, US, focusing on cancer immunotherapy.

Invesco Perpetual and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) also participated in the round.

Cell Medica’s technology is based on the selection, activation and expansion of immune cells, specifically T-cells, which can prevent and treat a range of diseases.

Its Cytovir product family treats life-threatening viral infections in leukaemia and lymphoma patients who have undergone bone marrow transplants. These patients have severely compromised immune systems, putting them at significant risk of infection from common viruses.

Cell Medica’s Cytovir therapies involve the reconstitution of natural cell-mediated immunity, which represents a unique benefit which cannot be matched by existing antiviral drugs. The European market launch of Cytovir CMV for cytomegalovirus infections is targeted for 2013 following completion of two randomised controlled studies on-going in the UK.

The investment from CPRIT will fund the clinical development in the US of Cell Medica’s novel CytorexTM EBV therapy which treats cancers associated with the Epstein Barr Virus.

Susan Searle, CEO of Imperial Innovations, said: “Cell Medica’s innovative cell therapies have the potential to significantly improve outcomes for a group of patients who are currently clinically under served.

“We are pleased that one of our early stage investments is now able to develop and scale into a multinational business. This follow-on funding will allow Cell Medica to grow and exploit opportunities in both the US and European markets.”

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